It took Vicki Armstrong almost 19 years to save $550, which isn't much of an accomplishment -- except that she did it one penny at a time.
Armstrong was planning to take her 55,000 pennies to the bank this week. She said saving them helped her reinforce frugal spending habits.
''It helped me be a little bit more conservative in my lifestyle,'' said Armstrong, who is planning to retire at the end of the year from Christus Schumpert Highland Hospital, where she works as a maternity technician.
Armstrong has been storing pennies in vases, bowls and the occasional shoebox. In 1993, The (Shreveport, La.) Times reported she had squirreled away 14,000 pennies. Armstrong resisted the temptation to cash them in and kept saving.
Her co-workers and friends have chipped in over the years. ''They all hand over pennies generously,'' she said.
11 hours ago